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Road-side pizza diner streets ahead of opposition

Road-side pizza diner streets ahead of opposition

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Laurent's pizza menu includes a few Cambodian specials like Pizza Amok. Photograph: Alistair Walsh

Kholene Pizza is dead, long live Presto Pizza! After selling Kholene Pizza eight months ago, disappointing many Siem Reap residents, Laurant Baldin has opened another pizza outlet just down the road.

Presto Pizza Coco, Baldin’s latest venture, is modelled on the pizza trucks which park around the cities in France.

“They move their trucks around. You rent one space and sell pizza for the night. Like in America with the taco trucks. In France it’s very popular and very good pizza. So we’re trying the same idea,” Baldin says.

“This is the same concept, but with a fixed truck.”

The new pizzeria, opposite Soria Moria on Wat Bo Road, opened on Monday to the welcome relief of Siem Reap residents with a pizza craving.

The pizza shop only has a few tables and chairs for customers to sit and drink while waiting for their pizzas to cook, but most will have to accept take-away pizza.

Baldin will also deliver, despite the haphazard address system in Siem Reap, customers just have to describe where they live and hope for the best.

Baldin says the hardest part of cooking pizza in Siem Reap is tracking down ingredients. “All the products we put on top of the pizza are imported. Actually the most expensive part of the pizza is the cheese. But we have Australian cheese and it’s very good.”

Some pizzas are tailored towards Cambodian tastes, with creations such as pizza amok and curry pizza.

Baldin’s former pizza joint, Kholene Pizza, was a big hit with expat and local residents in Siem Reap.

“We sold Kholene pizza because we just didn’t have time to run it. My business partner was very busy as well. When we sold it was doing very well,” Baldin says. 

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